The Suitcase Lady


October 31, 2017, 9:33 pm

This is a true story about an incognito pumpkin patch. I view, or more accurately, don’t view, the patch every time I look out my kitchen window.

The story begins a year ago when our good neighbor, Farmer Dennis, planted winter wheat in his fields across the road from our house. The wheat sprouted but, unfortunately, a low spot of about two acres developed in the middle of his fields. When the abundant spring rains came, they flooded the low spot and drowned the wheat there. We named this flooded spot Lake Dennis and were not unhappy to see ducks and geese coming to paddle around in their new lake and rest in the wheat that surrounded it.  I kidded Farmer Dennis that maybe he should dig it out a bit and create a permanent waterfowl sanctuary.

However, the inevitable happened, and his ephemeral lake dried up when the spring rains stopped.

“I can’t stand to see good land be fallow,” he said to me one day. “I think I’ll try something.” Shortly after, I looked out the window and saw him driving his tractor through the wheat to the dead spot. He proceeded to dig up the soil (I believe the correct word is till). A few days later, he was back with equipment to seed the empty patch.

Naturally, I was dying of curiosity to know what I would be looking at all summer when I stood at the sink washing dishes. “I thought I would try for two acres of sweet corn,” he told me. “And I threw in some pumpkin seeds, too”.

“What a brilliant experiment”, I said. Sort of like turning lemons into lemonade, or in this case, a flood into corn on the cob and jack-o-lanterns.

We took frequent walks all summer into the middle of the wheat field to watch the progress of this grand experiment. Visiting family members often joined us. And, as these pictures relate, the hidden pumpkin patch was a huge success. The sweet corn was delicious, too. And, even better, it was all free. We are truly fortunate to have such a generous, caring and imaginative neighbor.

1 Comment for this entry

  • John Jansen

    And it’s still on my front porch…reminding me every day of that beautiful day walking in the woods down to the shoreline where the river meets Lake Michigan and then over through the pumpkin patch. Wish I could have somehow brought the rest of the world aling with us that day.